Monday, December 22, 2014

Pet News 13: Your pet and the Holidays

During this Holiday Season, it is important not to forget our pets and their needs. This is especially true during the coming cold winter nights.

I was at a gathering the other night and the guardians of a small dog had let their pet outside with a dog bed and blanket. Yes, the dog had a sweater on, but as the night progressed, so did the temperature. It went down.

When I looked out the window I said, “It’s too cold for your dog.”

To which they responded, “We can’t have him in the house while the party’s going on. He’ll get into things.”

And I wondered: what would it hurt to have a small tent, doghouse, or artificial ceiling made for the dog. Maybe seal off a section of a room for him.

It’s true, our pets might get stressed with the number of people invited, but we still need to provide for them. They deserve just as much care and attention as our guests.

So if you have a party or other gathering this Holiday season, don’t forget your pets. Don’t leave them out in the cold and forget to feed them. They are, after all, part of the family.



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This is my 100th post! Thanks for sticking with me.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the previous posts, don’t hesitate.
Due to the Holidays, I won’t post until the New Year.
Have fun… and stay safe!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Another Sad Affair

You know that feeling you get when you read or see something in the news that stays on your mind for days on end? That’s what happened when I heard that Hong Kong and Nicaragua were partnering to do a canal.  

This isn’t the first time a proposal has been discussed. Years ago they wanted to do it but it cost too much and it cut through too much land (animals and people would suffer).

It seems that now there is money for this enormous project. The problem with the new plan is that they would still have to cut through a ton of land such as two nature reserves (home to a variety of tropical animals and plants species) and the famous cloud forest. Then, they will continue toward Lake Nicaragua (a major source of water for the people) and past Ometepe Island, which was built by two volcanoes (I think one of them is still active!). But they don’t stop there, they would still need to cut through the cities like Rivas that are heavily populated (just because it’s an isthmus).

Is it really more important to rival the Panama Canal?

I’m sure scientists the world over are concerned about this.

Think of the ecological impact it would have to the country, its poor, its animals and plants, and the climate change inflicted upon the surrounding countries… maybe even the world.

Its news like this that get you thinking about the price we pay for advancement in our lives.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quote 11

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.



Today I read a story titled: Benny’s Pennies by Pat Brisson to a group of kindergarteners. The story dealt with a boy who had five pennies to buy something, but instead of wasting it on himself, he asked his family what they would like.

Each member gave him a suggestion and off Benny went. As he was walking in the countryside, different vendors were around. Benny visited five and was able to buy the things for his family.

One student commented, “Now he has no pennies for himself.”

Another asked, “Why didn’t Benny buy something for himself?”

This reminded me of Aesop’s quote. It wasn’t about purchasing items or using up all the money, but about making others feel good by doing something nice for them. The reward would be found inside their heart. It’s a warm feeling that makes you happy you did an act of kindness.

The students got to talk about it and share times they made an act of kindness.

Since Christmas is around the corner, acts of kindness abound. We shouldn’t forget that this warm feeling is special and is what makes us better.

So… what act of kindness have you done?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Death as Metaphor 14: Poetry’s Different Faces

Poetry is experimental. It has no boundaries. Poetry hangs on through the years like a carved stone. And death as metaphor does the same.

Poetry has become the metaphor for the time and place one is writing in.

An individual first learns the literal semantic meaning of a word as a child and carries its meaning as time passes. As the defined words “death and dying” can mean an end to life or peaceful sleep.

However, experience reveals non-literal meanings as we find language to be flexible and changeable in different contexts. For instance, the concept of “closed” can mean to actually seal a door or lid shut but, it may be changed to mean an end to a speech or someone’s heart closing from pain.

Much of the language learned as we grow up consists of metaphors that eventually make room for use as symbols that eventually make it into poetry.

Take the word “coldblooded.” It does not refer to having cold blood, but to being cruel.

In turn, the meaning of a poem changes depending on how the metaphors are formulated by the poet or are spoken or heard by another’s perspective.

“Phoenix Song” is my latest poem to be published in the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Issue 64! Check it out on the website ...and boy does it use metaphors!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Art II: Abstract

Maria A. Arana 1999

Here is another abstract artwork from the stack of drawings I found. This abstract design represented the course of a scattered mind when I first put it together. But now that I see it, it reminds me of a huge mountain… maybe a volcano. As always, I really enjoyed the black and white contrast and if you look at the left side long enough, you’d swear a person was running down the side of the mountain!

Happy Thanksgiving!